The University of Richmond said it would be changing the name of its law school, according to an email sent to students.
The board of trustees unanimously voted to change the law school’s name from T.C. Williams School of Law to the University of Richmond School of Law.
The change comes in accordance with the university naming principle that says, “No building, program, professorship, or other entity at the University should be named for a person who directly engaged in the trafficking and/or enslavement of others or openly advocated for the enslavement of people.”
In the email, UofR said, “recently located government records dating from 1857 to 1863, and a newspaper notice from 1864, document Williams’s involvement in enslavement as an individual and through businesses in which he had direct ownership and an active management role.”
UofR said the school has been referred to as the University of Richmond School of Law for more than two decades.
The email from the school’s president and the board said in part:
“We recognize that some may be disappointed or disagree with this decision. We also recognize the role the Williams family has played here and respect the full and complete history of the institution. Consistent with Principle 9 of the Naming Principles, we will preserve and make accessible a full historical record.
“It is important to note that the mission of our School of Law remains the same — excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. We are grateful to all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to advancing this important work.”